Jenny’s Experience

The LMP is currently working in many of Croydon’s primary schools, developing the START project funded by the Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts which aims to offer participation, education and a love of music-making to young people.  A report from the ‘coal-face’ of workshops comes from LMP’s own intern and ace community music practioner Jenny Brady!


A quick introduction (me and the LMP)…

The LMP has a long and impressive history of education and community outreach projects throughout its existence, so therefore it was one of the most significant attractions of applying for the internship here. Also being a local girl, born and raised in Croydon, the LMP and Fairfield Halls hold a particular sentimental significance for me. I remember as a child performing as part of a huge stage choir at Fairfield, accompanied by professional musicians and other participating local primary schools. It truly is an experience that you do not forget, even if it’s the songs you sing, or the sight of the sheer vastness of the room you are performing to. It is therefore an honour to be part of another generation of children’s music education at the Fairfield Halls with the LMP.

Where it all STARTed…

This year’s START project has taken inspiration from our schools concert earlier in the year, Zambezi Tales. The audience was made up of primary school groups from across Croydon, who had learned the show songs in advance, and were encouraged to sing from their seats. It was an exciting opportunity for children to see a live professional orchestra in a fantastic concert hall with an interactive element of vocal participation. The songs were in my definition ‘Disney-tastic’, which in my personal opinion can only be a good thing! The arrangements showed off the many rich orchestral textures and timbres, and the melodies were accessible enough to sing, but were difficult enough to challenge.

There onstage sat amongst the woodwind, was our clarinettist and START project leader Anthony Bailey. Little did he know that a few weeks later he would have facilitated the writing of a 5/4 Bossa Nova about a lion and a zebra, a Peggy Lee inspired number (well I think it is) about a snake called Sid, or a bouncing Kangaroo Waltz. All of these songs (and many more) come under the grand title… (drum roll please)…‘Carnival of the Endangered Animals!’ and all I can say is, Saint-Saens eat your heart out!

I have had the great pleasure of shadowing Anthony and his three teams of LMP musicians, as they travel throughout the borough, armed with musical instruments (marimba, flute, double bass, violin, trumpet, bassoon and clarinet), animal poetry (poems about animals, not poems written by animals…) and not to mention a wealth of education experience. Wolsey, Atwood, Monks Orchard, Parish Church and the Link have all received workshops so far, and will continue to work on their songs until the final performance later this month, with at least one more follow up session each and a big dress rehearsal. It’s all very exciting! More reports to follow soon…

Jenny, LMP Intern.